Minister lures voters around Turkey with car factory promise
The Turkish technology minister, Faruk Özlü, has pulled out the stops to attract voters, hinting to citizens in six different provinces that their hometowns could be the site of a factory for a new line of Turkish-built automobiles if they vote for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Özlü came bearing glad tidings to residents of Zonguldak, Sakarya, Konya, İzmir, Niğde and Karabük – in each of which he discussed the plans to establish a factory for locally-manufactured cars and discussed each province’s “good chances” of being the site chosen.
The Turkish Minister for Science, Industry and Technology’s visits to Konya and İzmir, and his statements around the chances of a car factory being constructed in these provinces, came just a day apart on Feb. 8 and 9 this year.
His most recent statement on May 26 to citizens in the Black Sea province of Zonguldak described their “high likelihood” of being chosen for the factory due to the proximity of the province’s industrial zone to a port.
Halkın Sesi, a local newspaper from Zonguldak published details of the minister’s statements to the six provinces, which it described as “virtually the same promise to everywhere he went.”
The ruling party has made much of plans to begin local vehicle production in past elections since the general elections of 2011, when they promised to begin production of aircraft in Turkey. In the 2015 elections, the promises included Turkish-built warplanes and electric cars.
On Sunday interior minister Süleyman Soylu again promised that the “time had come” to begin production of Turkish cars and aircraft.